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Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  254 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Unprecedented autobiographies of religious life.
Mass Market Paperback, 338 pages
Published March 1st 1986 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 878)
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Mar 15, 2012 Caitlin rated it really liked it
This is NOT lesbian erotic pulp fiction. It is non-fiction-- the stories of 50 lesbians who were nuns, some were still nuns too.

I found it really interesting to hear about how there was a word used to describe, and chastise women for developing close, intimate relationships inside the convent, "particular friendships."

The descriptions of life within the convents was fascinating as well. Although some of the women engaged in physical relationships with other nuns on the inside, most abstained wh
Aug 10, 2007 Mo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbo-a-go-go
I read this the second I got out of Catholic school and suddenly everything that had happened in the previous 13 years made perfect sense to me. I still love this book and I give major props to anyone who is willing to speak their own truth and speak out no matter what.
For most of my convent life my emotional and sexual needs were either repressed or redirected into prayer, work, or other acceptable activities. (Jessie, 75)

Fascinating collection of stories of women who identify as lesbian (the book capitalised it—Lesbian—which tickled me pink) and who were, or are, nuns. It's so interesting both for their stories of coming out to themselves (many of which were quite similar) but also for the diversity of convent teachings and for the glimpses of what happened
Sue Donovan
May 01, 2014 Sue Donovan rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago when it was first released. Of course, I had better reason to read it than some. I was newly out squared; I'd exited the convent a few years before, and exited the closet a few years after leaving the convent. Thus, I could relate very closely to the stories in this book.
It was a different time. Roe v. Wade was relatively recent. The women's movement was going strong. The Bakke decision tells us right wing backlash was well funded even prior to Reagan's election . Cons
Jul 15, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This eye opening book is a compilation of 50 lesbian nuns personal accounts of their years in the convent. I'm not rating this book on the writing since each nun writes so differently, but on the main points put forward. Some of the essays are poorly written, and it's somewhat hard to understand the gist. A few were written with a fun sense of humor and got a good laugh out of me. Well, I'm minding my own business being a good camp counselor when Sister Beth comes on to me like a diesel dyke in ...more
Oct 10, 2008 Stephy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lesbian historians
Shelves: non-fiction
I actually learned obout this book because my sister's lover of some 40+ years wrote something for it. I loved the book. Even among the most invisible women, lesbians are invisible!
Dec 28, 2007 Lis marked it as to-read
I happen to know a lesbian nun or two.
Feb 18, 2007 Joanna rated it really liked it
Eye opening for this Catholic school girl!
These are the stories, told in their own words, of 50 lesbian nuns. Most have left the convents but there are several in the 50 who were still active nuns at the time. The book was published in 1985 and definitely is dated but still a unique look at religious life and lesbians at a particular time and place. The prevalence of "particular friendships" (who knew there was a euphemism?) and how the sisters/postulants/novices dealt with their spirituality/sexuality conflicts was interesting. It woul ...more
Sep 15, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: informative
Not erotica. It covers the psychological conflicts tearing women apart who believe they are lesbian nuns. Published in 1985 the language was considered to be highly controversial, however, it felt a little boring at times for today's more exposed liberal audiences. The fascinating insight into the mentality of the women, before, during and after their devotion to the church is worth the old brittle pages it's printed on. Read it to learn something about the struggle of being gay and celibate or ...more
Dec 29, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
I read this when it came out. Compelling stories!
Dec 13, 2008 HeavyReader rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, life-stories
I got this book from a Friends of the Library book sale a couple of years ago. I enjoyed reading it and felt enlightened by the personal stories these women had to tell.

I have to admit, I was hoping for a little titillation, but this book didn't really offer any. Bummer.
Jul 22, 2015 Geraldine rated it it was amazing
I have read Lesbian Nuns at least 3 times. I was one. Don't expect erotica. Expect innocence and honesty. And remember...We had no words. We had no language. These women were born in the 40s and 50s and 60s
Sansan Gilbreath
Apr 28, 2009 Sansan Gilbreath rated it really liked it
Found this book at the Larry McMurtry book store in Archer City Texas.
Mar 21, 2007 Koren rated it really liked it
If you ever went to catholic school, got check this out.
Jan 06, 2008 Cb rated it really liked it
I KNEW IT! lol
Ms. Chedwick
Jul 14, 2008 Ms. Chedwick rated it really liked it
I read this when it first came out in the paperback edition. All of my grandparents were Catholic, but my parents were not, so I didn't really become interested in Catholicism until I visited Northern Ireland a few times and found a relative had written a book about Catholic Life in Ireland in the 1800s. Then I started reading memoirs and such. I guess I started being interested in the history of the religion when I was a teenager, but I was never a Catholic.
Mar 13, 2009 Marybeth rated it really liked it
This book is a series of interviews with women who are or have been Catholic Nuns. I met the editors of this book at a Women's Studies conference in 1995. When the book was published in 1985 the editors were guests on The Sally Jessie Raphael Show and created quite stir at the time. I found the individual stories to be sad, funny, uplifting, depressing and always interesting.
Jul 05, 2013 Nicole rated it did not like it
ehhhh really dissapointing, the subject matter could be so interesting, but the first person accounts were frankly, not very well written and simply put, unengaging. Didn't finish the book, which is really unusual for me.
Dec 22, 2008 Theodora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic, queer
This book resonated a lot. Nice to hear all of the women's stories. The boundary issue -- this is erotic? platonic? off-limits? really resonated with me.
Dec 19, 2012 Sheris225 rated it really liked it
Courage, bonding & perserverance. Sometimes on the part of the reader as well. But well worth picking up.
Oct 13, 2015 Bridget rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt-women
Of course, not all of the contributions were stellar, but on the whole it's an excellent and important book.
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